Stories of Love & Friendship Part. 2

I've always been fascinated with stories of Love and Friendship; how people meet, how they build a relationship and how they make that relationship last. Love is hope.

For a second year in a row, I decided to interview more couples and friends to learn more about what makes their love special.

Here are their stories:

Valéda & Hector

As told by Valeda & Hector

How long have you been together?

''We got married 53 years ago!''

How did you meet?

''We met in high school in our hometown of Noëlville, Ontario. We were acquaintances at the time and didn't know each other very well. I thought he was the most handsome boy in town with his beautiful wavy hair. He asked me out to the movie theatre to go see a film starring the actor Chubby Checkers. We have been together ever since.''

How did you know your partner was the one for you?

''He makes me happy! Since we grew up in the same village and our parents were friends, I knew he came from a family with similar values. When you get married, you're young and in love, but in a way you're just starting to get to know each other. I remember the night we went out to dinner with our two young sons to celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary; I looked at Hector, at the husband and father he had become, and my heart was filled with love for him. I told him that in that moment I loved him even more than the day I married him!''

What makes your relationship work?

''We make sure to always communicate, to be kind to each other and to be friends first and foremost. Little gestures, whether it's a morning kiss or a hot cup of coffee, means so much over time. Making each other laugh is also key!''

Ann & Mitchell

As told by Ann and Mitchell

How long have you been together?

''We met 7 years ago and will be celebrating our 4th anniversary in March.''

How did you meet?

"Following my move from Quebec City to British Columbia, I met Mitchell who at the time was Michelle, at a little Pub. We became fast friends and enjoyed spending time together playing tic-tac-toe all night and singing at karaoke bars.

A couple of years later, Mitchell wanted to move to another part of Canada to see more of the country. I took a chance and asked him if he wanted to come here since I needed a roommate. Shortly after, our relationship changed. This is where our story really begins.

Our story is different from others because Mitchell was a women when we met. Since then, he has become a man and a father. We have been a couple in love all throughout his transition; we have our ups and downs but it's been incredible! "

How did you know your partner was the one for you?

''Ann is such a wonderful person. I like most that she kicks my butt into breaking through my own walls. She helps me build the bridges I need to cross in order to achieve the goals and dreams I've always had. She's such a great mother and a powerful women. I couldn't picture my life without her.'' -Mitchell

What makes your relationship work?

''We're a good team! It think it's great that we were friends before we were in a relationship. We work together and we make sure to communicate a lot. There is no perfect relationship but doing our best everyday is what matters. We now have a beautiful son!" - Ann

Kim, Cindy, Christine, Jo, Kathy, Brenda & Debbie

As told by Kim

How long have you been friends?

"We have been friends for most of our entire lives!''

How did you meet?

"Some of us are related. Others we met in elementary school!"

How did you know you would become such great friends?

"We always have had such a great time together and share just about everything about ourselves with each other.....that can only be with true friends."